Treasury chief wrestles with legacy amid Libor scandal, economic worries

Timothy Geithner finds the perception that he is “too close to Wall Street” so frustrating that, in an interview with Charlie Rose this week, the Treasury secretary set aside his usual measured demeanor to try to debunk what he says is an “urban myth.

“I find that deeply offensive,” Geithner said.  “I think it’s deeply unfair, unjustified.”

The secretary, who will wrap up a four-year tenure at the helm of Treasury in January, is struggling to shape his legacy as worries persist about the health of the economic recovery and a scandal over manipulation of the Libor interest rate gives fresh ammunition to critics who accuse him of coddling the financial sector.

Geithner, a former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who served as a top lieutenant to then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin during the Clinton years, is President Obama’s longest-serving economic adviser.

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